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Cruz gets life without parole

'Justice is half done'

Chelsea Frazier’s family, from left, brother Casey, mother Robin Snow, step-father Ray Snow and sister Cori Plouffe pause for a moment Monday before going into the Bronx District Attorney’s office to work on their case for the second alleged killer, Devon Miller. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
April 05, 2010
NEW YORK — Corey Frazier very simply summed up his family's view after hearing a Bronx County judge sentence his sister's killer to life without parole.

"I was hoping [that would be the sentence]," he said. "Now, justice is half done."

Frazier was referring to Bronx Criminal Court Judge Barbara Newman's denouncing of defendant Carlos Cruz, formerly of High Street, Southbridge, for the "unspeakably heartless" crime of first-degree murder in the April 2008 death of Chelsea Frazier.

The sentence caused a brief burst of applause from the courtroom audience, which seemed to be composed entirely of Chelsea supporters and reporters.

Although Cruz's attorney Patrick Bruno had pointed out that Cruz did not pull the trigger himself, Newman said the evidence showed Cruz "caused this to happen before [his and Chelsea's son's] very young eyes."

Newman cited evidence Cruz paid a man to shoot Frazier and himself to make it look like a robbery with their son, Alijah, in the back seat of the car; repeatedly claimed Cruz did it to get out of paying child support and because he thought "her interest in you was waning;" yet also repeatedly claimed he was a "victim." To the judge, those things showed Cruz to be "capable of the most heinous acts in the most heinous manner."

From behind, Cruz did not seem to react as she spoke, and he did not add anything to Bruno's short request for a lighter sentence (20 years to life, which would have made him parole-eligible). Cruz also declined to say anything when Newman asked if he wished to add to two letters he had already sent her, neither of which "expresses any remorse," she said.

To Robin Snow, Chelsea's mother, Cruz had always set off alarm bells, but Chelsea "was going to do what she felt she needed to do." Among other things, she said, the family never learned his true age until Alijah was born — Cruz had led the family to believe he was "in his 20s," rather than late-30s.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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